From: rico sorda
Subject: Committee of Enquiry
Date: Sunday, 4 December, 2011, 10:56
Dear Senator Bailhache
I refer to your recent comments concerning the Committee of Enquiry ("COE") into decades long abuse in the Jersey Care Homes / Fostering Care ("Operation Rectangle").
As Senator Le Marquand will be aware, I have been investigating and asking extensive questions during the past 3 years.
Senator Bailhache, if you watch the interviews and read the links provided, you will get an idea of where I am coming from regarding my work.
During the nomination for Chief Minister you were asked a question by Deputy Tadier. One of the issues raised was your conflict of interest . I hope you can clear this up for me but in my opinion you are probably one of the most conflicted individuals in Jersey when It comes to the Historical Child Abuse Investigation ("HCAE"). When Operation Rectangle was launched were you not the Bailiff of Jersey? When the HCAE went global in February 2008 were you not still the Bailiff? As you are well aware, the Bailiff is also Chief Justice, president of the legislature. Additionally your brother, William Bailhache, was Attorney General during the HCAE, the Sharp Report and the Holland Affair. You the 2007 Christmas Speech, which was not permitted to be concluded, and the Liberation Day Speech of 2008 when these infamous words were spoken;
"All child abuse, wherever it happens, is scandalous, but it is the unjustified and remorseless denigration of Jersey and her people that is the real scandal".
You have been Solicitor General, Attorney General, Deputy Bailiff & Bailiff during the decades of unchecked Child Abuse in the Care Homes of Jersey. I have no doubt that you will be giving evidence to the forthcoming COE. For these reason I do not believe you should be involved in any shape or form with the COE. I note the scare mongering has started over the cost of the enquiry (a classic tactic). Let me finish with this:
Decades of abuse occurred in Jersey. We need a root and branch enquiry. All the agencies that failed the children of Jersey need a thorough review. They include the police, the media , all social services, the Crown and anybody in positions of responsibility for the children of Jersey.
2.4 Deputy M. Tadier:
Earlier this year, the States approved by a democratic majority decision that there should be a committee of inquiry into historical child abuse. One of the terms of reference that was agreed - again by a majority in the States - was that among others, the role of Crown Officers, including whether there was any political interference with decisions to prosecute, should be one of the terms of reference and it falls to the Chief Minister and his department to implement this committee of inquiry. So, firstly, is the candidate supportive of the committee of inquiry and, secondly, which steps would he take to minimise any perception of real or perceived conflict of interest, given that he was one of the Crown Officers and a member of the judiciary at the time?
Senator P.M. Bailhache:
Dealing with that last point first. I am not sure that I had any involvement in any of the issues relating to the child abuse inquiry but if I am wrong in that respect, then clearly I would have to consider my position as to whether I took any part in the decision-making process. So far as the broader question is concerned, it is a sensitive and very difficult matter. The Assembly has agreed to establish a committee of inquiry. The cost of that inquiry was put by the Minister for Treasury and Resources at £10 million. For my part, I think that was an underestimate and I think that the costs could very well mount to £20 million or even more, given the range of the terms of reference that have been adopted by the Assembly. That perhaps is not the most important issue. What is important is that we find a means to bring closure to an issue that has divided the Island and caused anxiety for far too long. What is also important, it seems to me, is to bring reconciliation to those who have suffered from abuse in the past so that at the end of a long process by a committee of inquiry, if we have one, they feel that something has been gained. There is nothing to be gained by creating a tortuous process which does not, at the end of the day, satisfy those who have suffered from abuse. So it is a very difficult issue.
I look forward to your response regarding my concerns.
I have Cc; Chief Minister Gorst
Truth Honesty & Integrity